Stopping Sex Trafficking: The Role for Health and Social Services

TUE, FEB 25, 2020

While nearly eighty percent of human trafficking survivors report being seen by some sort of health care providers, only six percent of health care providers report treating a victim of human trafficking. Health care and social service providers play a crucial role in disrupting the cycle of trafficking. This cycle starts at an early age with children in the child welfare system being disproportionately affected by sex trafficking. This panel discussion addresses the critical need for these agencies and social services to collaborate in order to identify trafficked persons and support survivors.

+ BIO: Erin Sheehan

Every Hand is a Hero: Here at Every Hand is a Hero, we believe that education is one of the most vital components when it comes to fighting commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC) and child sex trafficking. We aim to provide educational training to both the front line workers involved in the child welfare system as well as the children and youth affected. Our goal is to raise awareness about CSEC and child sex trafficking and provide the necessary skills for prevention and intervention.

Contact: everyhandisahero@gmail.com

+ BIO: Madeleine Pouw

Every Hand is a Hero: Here at Every Hand is a Hero, we believe that education is one of the most vital components when it comes to fighting commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC) and child sex trafficking. We aim to provide educational training to both the front line workers involved in the child welfare system as well as the children and youth affected. Our goal is to raise awareness about CSEC and child sex trafficking and provide the necessary skills for prevention and intervention.

Contact: everyhandisahero@gmail.com

+ BIO: Louise Sheehan

The Massachusetts General Hospital Freedom Clinic provides free, trauma-informed, LGBTQ-friendly primary and preventative care for survivors of human trafficking, ages 13 years and older.

The Massachusetts General Hospital Freedom Clinic, launched in April 2015, is a unique health care clinic for victims and survivors of human trafficking in the Boston area. Exclusively designed to care for trafficked persons, the Freedom Clinic is a cornerstone program of the Human Trafficking Initiative in the Center for Social Justice and Health Equity at Massachusetts General Hospital established in 2008.

The Freedom Clinic offers free primary and preventative care for victims and survivors of human trafficking ages 13 years and older. The clinic was thoughtfully designed to offer specialized services in a safe, non-judgmental, LGBTQ-friendly and compassionate setting.

+ BIO: Nikki Valila

Nikki Valila has spent the past 12 years of her professional career working with commercially sexually exploited girls. She brings a wealth of experience having worked for the Suffolk County District Attorney’s office in the Child Abuse Unit as the lead Victim Witness Advocate on the teen exploitation cases. In addition to her role at the DA’s office, Nikki was the Program Director of an 8 bed group home for sexually exploited adolescent females outside of Boston. Nikki served as a consultant on teen exploitation cases at Germaine Lawrence often assisting in the intake of new residents, assessing the Stage of Change a girl may be in and assisting in coordinating sexual exploitation services on campus. Serving as the Children & Teen Program Coordinator at a domestic violence agency permitted Nikki the opportunity to understand the impact of domestic violence on children and to assist parents in ending the cycle of violence. Nikki has been a trained facilitator of the My Life My Choice Prevention Curriculum for over 8 years and has mentored and trained hundreds of direct care staff/clinicians/DCF workers and law enforcement on strategies in working with sexually exploited girls. Nikki is a dynamic trainer and advocate and works tirelessly to educate providers on how to provide a trauma informed approach when working with sexually exploited youth.

+ BIO: Jennifer Roman-Martin

Jennifer Roman-Martin is a Licensed Independent Certified Social Worker specializing in implementing culturally sensitive and evidence based psychotherapies. Utilizing creative therapies to facilitate healing among clients who have experienced trauma, Jennifer international work focused primarily on mental health support of refugees and asylum seekers in the country of first asylum in both urban and camp based settings. She is currently a volunteer for Physicians for Human Rights. She has received specialized training in EMDR, TF-CBT, solution focused therapy, Child Parent Psychotherapy, and creative/expressive therapies.

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